Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment D

Faculty Senate Minutes

16 April 1996


This document and the attached blue sheets provide a comprehensive synopsis and rational for curricular changes in the department. The following table summarizes the changes in credit hours across the four options:

Broadcasting Broadcasting
54 hours total 54-60 hours total
45 major field 27 major field
9 other requirements 27-33 other requirements
Total credits for graduation: 120 hours Total credits for graduation: 120 hours
General Communication Communication Studies
63 hours total 51 hours total
33 major field 33 major field
30 other requirements 18 other requirements
Total credits for graduation: 120 hours Total credits for graduation: 120 hours
Public Relations Public Relations
78-81 hours total 48 hours total
39 major field 48 major field
39-42 other requirements
Total credits for graduation: 120 hours Total credits for graduation: 120 hours
Theatre, Technical Theatre
60 hours total 63 hours total
12 major field 39 major field
48 other requirements 24 other requirements
Total credits for graduation: 120 hours Total credits for graduation: 120 hours
Theatre: Acting/Directing
60 hours total
12 major field
48 other requirements

As the table demonstrates, all of the revised options either maintain or reduce the total credit hours required for majors, with the exception of the Broadcastin option, depending on whether or not students choose to pursue an outside minor. In the case of Public Relations, the total credit hour requirements are dramatically reduced, and the two Theatre options have been streamlined into a single option.

I. Background/Rationale

The former course offerings and optioins in the Communication and Theatre department were out-of-date and in need of extensive updating and revision. Outside reviewers of the Communication & Theatre curriculum cited a need to update the course offerings and to institute a theoretically-grounded approach across the board. For this department to award degrees in speech communication, changes in individual course offerings and in overall curricular arrangements were necessary.

In answer to the needs of the department, several new faculty were hired in order to bring a theoretical focus to the department, and to update the curriculum. Following that, several new courses were added to the curriculum. Approximately 14 courses have been added to the Communication and Theatre curriculum over the past 4 years. All of the new courses listed as part of the revised curriculum sheets are officially-approved courses; the courses have all been finalized. With the addition of five new faculty members, the current course offerings and the proposed blue sheet changes are feasible without any additional resources.

Lastly, the proposed blue sheet changes represent the last stage of a long process. Because new courses had to be in place before new blue sheets could be proposed, this last phase of the proposed options represents a reorganization of the changes which have already taken place. the addition of five new faculty and the 14 new courses are pointless without the subsequent changes in the blue sheets.

The current request, that the curriculum be reorganized in order to reflect a revised, updated set of options is moderate. This request requires no new resources. The effective date of these changes would be the Fall, 1996 semester. The new course additions have already taken place; the current proposal for new blue sheet requirements for the four options in Communication & Theatre completes the process begun by the addition of a number of new courses and several new faculty members.

II. Summary of Changes in Individual Options

In the following section, the content of the changes requested in each of the four options in the department will be addressed.

A. Broadcasting

The revised option reflects the addition of two new faculty members with interests in comparative broadcasting and cultural studies. Both approaches encourage the critical consideration of mass communication in terms of both global perspectives and the cultural content of media messages. Additionally, the faculty have made adjustments to production courses in order to reflect recent technological advancements in the field. For students, the revised option presents and opportunity for a broad background which includes both technical production skills and theoretical perspectives. Lastly, the new courses update the curriculum and keep pace with both theoretical perspectives and pragmatic issues in the field.

B. Communication Studies

Whereas the former communication option, general communication, was something of a catch-all category, the revised option represents a sound, theoretically-grounded approach to the study of speech communication. Traditional areas of study in the discipline, such as group communication, organizational communication and persuasion, are represented within this option. With the addition of two new faculty, new areas of study, organizational communication and semiotics, ahve been incorporated in coursework. Additionally, the capstone course, Communication 429, offers students an opportunity to investigate perspectives and communication issues applicable across a number of areas of study. The new course offerings in this area dramatically update the curriculum and bring this area in line with other departments of speech communication.

For students, this option provides excellent preparation for graduate shcool, as well as a good grounding in the field of speech communication. Combined with an outside minor, students have a chance to tailor this option with another outside interest. For students who wish to gain an understanding of the field of speech communciation, this option is very desirable.

C. Public Relations

This major has been streamlined, much to the benefit of students, without sacrificing the sequencing of courses which contributes to its strength. The revised option reflects a more realistic set of expectations regarding additional requirements and related requirements for majors. The revised option is less cumbersome and more focused than the current option requirements. The revision of course content reflects the addition of a new faculty member in this area. the revisions and new courses provide students with a sound, scholarly approach to real-world issues. Students benefit from the opportunity to investigate public relations issues from a variety of perspectives.

For public relations majors, the reduction of credit hour requirements is the most obvious advantage of the revised option. Streamlining the curricular requirements allows students to pursue an outside minor, as well as their public relations coursework.

D. Theatre

The theatre option has been combined into one option which provides students with background in both technical production and the creative performance aspects of theatre. Theatre faculty have articulated a desire to provide majors with a broad background which allows students to take coursework in performance, history, criticism, and design. With a smaller faculty (two), this single track option ensures that classes will run, and will be offered with enough frequency for majors.

III. Core Requirements for All Options

Every revised option reflects a new set of core requirements. The department has added three courses in order to complete this core: Communication 101, Introduction to Communicology; Communication 301, Communication Research; and Communication 401, Critical-Cultural Studies of Communication. An existing course, Communication 201, Theories of Communication, completes the revised core. The courses are intended to be taken in the following sequence: Communciation 101, 201, 301, and 401. The core represents an attempt to adopt a scholarly approach to the study of communication and theatre. while the old core requirements were more performance-oriented, the new core reflects both theoretical trends and pragmatic issues in the field. the four courses build on one another, and reflect a successful attempt to provide students with an understanding of communication and theatre on both specific and general levels. Lastly, the new core requirements are intended as replacements for the existing core requirements: Communication 130, Voice and Diction; Communication 203, Oral Interpretation or Theatre 110, Introduction to Theatre. Upon enacting the new core requirements, the department will request the deletion of Communication 130 and Communication 203.